October 8th, 2007
02:23 PM ET
12 years ago

Romney confronted with medical marijuana issue

Watch Romney tackle the medical marijuana issue with a voter in New Hampshire.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was confronted head-on Saturday over the issue of medical marijuana.

Following a campaign appearance in Dover, New Hampshire, a member of the audience, Clayton Holton, told Romney he has muscular dystrophy and said five of his doctors say he is "living proof medical marijuana works."

"I am completely against legalizing it for everyone, but there is medical purposes for it," Holton told Romney.

Romney pointed out that there is synthetic marijuana as well as other pain medications available.

"It makes me sick. I have tried it, and it makes me throw up," Holton said. "My question for you is will you arrest me or my doctors if I get medical marijuana."

"I am not in favor of medical marijuana being legal in the country," Romney said as he moved on to greet other people.

Holton continued, "Excuse me, will you please answer my question?"

"I think I have. I am not in favor of legalizing medical marijuana," the Massachusetts Republican said.

Other Republican presidential hopefuls have also recently been confronted by patients on the issue.

The New York Times reported a patient in New Hampshire accused former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani of saying he would have “federal agents arrest the sick and the dying.”

"I never said that," Giuliani said.

Meanwhile, The Associated Press reported late last month Arizona Sen. John McCain told a patient, "Every town hall meeting I have, someone shows up and advocates for medical marijuana, and, by the way, in all due respect, alleges that we are arresting the dead and the dying, and I still have not seen any evidence of that."

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- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. Linda - Albany, NY

    Chris, Huntington, California:

    "Stupider" is NOT a word. Whose the dummy now?

    Furthermore, it's already in the "wrong hands" – our politicians.

    October 8, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. Jon Becker, Arlington, VA

    "of course no one in their right mind would legalize any form of marijuana."

    Posted By John, Phoenix, AZ : October 8, 2007 5:29 pm

    Well, apparently the majority voters in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Montana, Colorado, and Maine, and the majority of legislators in Hawaii, New Mexico, Vermont, and Rhode Island are not in their right mind. Because all 12 of those states have laws that protect seriously ill patients like Clayton from arrest and prison. Also, Richardson, as Gov. of New Mexico, signed that state's medical marijuana into law. Clearly, he's not in his right mind.

    October 8, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. john, Denver CO

    For all of you who say that we just want medical marijuana so we can smoke it is wrong. We can get pot easy, its not tough at all and the penalties are just like a $25 fine. We want it medicaly legalized because it does such a great job at reducing pain and so people who have it perscribed don't have to fear having their doctors arrested

    October 8, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  4. Pam Holt Los Angeles, CA

    Nathan, Seattle Wa: Please don't forget that Ron Paul IS a TRUE Republican except for his anti-war stance and foreign relations policy, He is anti-choice and against stem cell research just to name a few things. I have heard some disturbing racist comments written by him, and hear rumors of ties to the klan.

    How scary!

    DENNIS KUCINICH is the ONLY choice for peace-living, free-thinking Democrats.

    Please stop this madness of Democrats registering as Republicans!

    And don't let the corporate-run mainstream media brainwash you into thinking that Kucinich has no chance. He is the candidate we've all been waiting for:

    1) He can't be bought (no corporate donations accepted- and yet FOR THIS REASON- not having the big dirty bucks- his campaign is discounted). How wonderful it would be to have confidence that our President ONLY has OUR best interests at heart!

    2) He is honest and has NEVER said anything just to get elected.

    3) He is the ONLY candidate with a plan- HR 676- in Congress, that would provide REAL Universal, not-for-profit health care for ALL. Hillary and Edwards' plans would make us all give money to the corrupt insurance companies (that contribute millions to their campaigns), or we will be fined, like car insurance. How is giving more money to the companies whose only interest is profiting from NOT giving us health care solving our health care crisis? That is really screwed up people!

    3) Dennis (& Gravel) are the only candidate(s) that believe ALL Americans should have equal rights (even if you were born- HEAVEN FORBID- gay).

    4) Dennis feels marijuana should be decriminalized. Enough of the Reefer Madness people! The other candidates are too busy pandering to the right to see what is right and wrong. Bill Clinton passed the most harsh laws to date against marijuana users JUST to prove to the right that he really did "just inhale".

    5) Kucinich was the ONLY candidate (besides Republican Ron Paul) to vote against the war and against funding Halliburton and others with exclusive war contracts 100% of the time.

    6) Kucinich is the ONLY candidate with the balls to IMPEACH Cheney- HR 333. He knows this is necessary to avoid going to war in Iran, which is what this crooked administration plans on doing before they leave office. Hillary, Obama, Edwards, Dodd, and Biden voted in favor of military action against Iran- with WHAT money and with WHAT troops?

    I think I'll stop there, but that is by no means a complete list of the superiority of Dennis Kucinich as a Presidential Candidate.

    Oh, that's right though... he's short. I forgot.

    October 8, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. Brandon Lee, Glendale CA

    I was waiting for someone to get Tasered during that interview. But it didn't happen. Why didn't they taser the man in the wheel chair for pestering Romney?

    October 8, 2007 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. Thomas J. Hillgardner

    Its interesting that Mitt Romney is oppossed to medical marijuana yet he can advocate for the lad to take Marinol – which is THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. How does this square with his Mormon theology, if that's the basis for his opposition to medical marijuana?

    October 8, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. laurinda,ny

    I think Romney would be just as bad for this country as Rudy would be. Wouldn't it be nice if people would stop knowingly put other people's words in their sentences? Perhaps we should also stop using other peoples secret names. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all get along together.

    October 8, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  8. sue aspen, granda hills, ca

    Dear Don of Akron Ohio,
    Am I an idiot for being Mormon or because I am supporting Romney for Pres? Just curious... maybe it was the typos?

    You probably don't give a care about why I shared doctrine...but I tell you anway, I did it today because of something that happened to me in my youth.

    When I was a teenager I was in a work situation where other adults found out that I was LDS. They hazed me in such a cruel and embarrassing way that it took me years to recover.

    Now that I am a parent and raising children, I am trying to help them to be emotionally strong so that they can endure various situation dealing with all sorts of prejudices, (one of our children has a weight issue and another is handicapped). It's not easy, but honesty is always the best policy.

    Bukky From Baltimore MD, you asked about my position on Medical Mary. I have good friends who are suffering from cancer and MD and use it for medical purposes. I found out today for the first time, reading all the blogs... that there are alternatives to it.

    I will have to think about the matter more.
    As far as I could see on the Video piece about Romney talking to that man, I thought that Romney seemed uncomfortable talking with him, and maybe it is because it is a sensitive subject with him because of the condition of his wife, who has MS. After watching the video of himself, he will talk about it with his people and they will help him come up with better ways to interact with fellow Americans out there in the political arena. He is learning as he goes... he might not have it all right yet, but there are many more new days of staying the course, carrying on and trying to win votes for his side.

    October 8, 2007 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  9. Trollmaster, CA

    Posted By Gavin, Gainesville, FL

    You have chosen to side with tyranny and propaganda instead of the will of the people and medical facts. You are a disgrace as a human being and more fit of living in a dictatorship where they think big brother government knows best. Hang your head in shame.

    October 8, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. Steve

    The power of money..He even states that there are other pain relievers out there. Pharmiceutical companies and food and tobacco pay billions to keep it illegal. The sick and ill people of this country should have the right to choose a method that may relieve their symptoms with a Dr's prescription and not be forced to go the highly addictive and mega withdrawl effects pham. drugs have..Marijuana has zero addictive traits and no withdrawl symtoms. Prscription drugs ruin millions of families a year. Let's start to fill prisons with rapeist and child molesters and hardin criminals instead of small time marijuana users. Until then, our jails will remain full and child molesters will continue to walk free.

    October 8, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. Dan, Newport Beach, CA

    My favorite comments are by people who say things like, "pot makes you dumb"... "enough people are doing this dumb drug already"... I am smarter high than millions of TV-watching drones sober... I can get high and discuss Platonic philosophy but I recommend that dumb people spare their few working neurons...

    October 8, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. Adam, Bellevue, WA

    There is a medicine people can use, it works, and to deny it to the sick is in it's self sickening. Romney just showed he does not care about American's who are sick.

    His stance is one more reason I do not regret having changed parties.

    October 8, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. Dan, Richmond, VA

    Guess who I will not be voting for – a man who has no feelings for others.

    October 8, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Tom Dedham, Mass,

    "but he was not arrogant or "vague", he answered the question, PERIOD."

    LOL .. he did? So he gave a yes on no answer to Holton's initial question?


    So he answered YES or NO to Holton's follow up question when he asked "My question for you is will you arrest me or my doctors if I get medical marijuana."?

    Answer: NOPE!

    Romney said what his personal stance on the subject was .. he NEVER answered the question with a straight yes or no answer.

    Tom, try reviewing the video AGAIN genius ... and point out to us where ... ANYWHERE ... a yes or no answer was given by Romney!

    Newsflash: Repubs STILL have a problem with reality and reading comprehension!

    October 8, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR,

    "Of course we're not going to legalize medical marajuana, there is already proof that it is long-term detrimental."

    Ummm ... "long term detrimental" to say ... someone already DYING FROM CANCER?

    "I could not respect ANY candidate who would pander to such ridiculous special interest."

    Those people who need the drug to help them with their muscular dystrophy or to more peacefully die from cancer are "special interests" to you?

    Good GOD! You're IQ is dropping with each post! Next thing you know, you'll try to tell us that Romney never flip-flopped right?

    Would you like a do-over on that post Shawnie?

    October 8, 2007 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. Ronnie.Irving,Texas

    Mitt Romney and the rest of the GOP are idiots.Who cares if sick people smoke pot?Do these presidental canidates not have better things to do?

    October 8, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Kerry, Toledo, OH

    " Please keep in mind that Mormons are not allowed to use mind altering substances. This includes marijuana, alcohol and caffeine. is stance is no surprise to anyone who knows anything about Mormon beliefs."

    So, does this mean he is also against Big Pharma? I damnly doubt it. They contribute to much money to oppose them!

    October 8, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Jerry, Denver, CO

    Romney was obviously being baited into a trap by the line of questioning. He was wise to succinctly state his opinion and move on.

    But hey...now we can now look forward opponents adding this gem to their bag of insincere heart-tugging tripe. I can hear it already: "What a creep. Mitt hates dogs AND disabled people."

    October 8, 2007 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  19. Yvonne, Waynesville, MO

    Enough! I've had it with the Karl Rove politics on both sides. This guy is a Democratic plant. The people asking Hillary Clinto about her comments on Iran are Perublican plants. It's bad enough that the campaigns feed us crap. Do we have to keep going back pleading, "More gruel, please!"
    Politics will be muck as long as we tolerate it.

    October 8, 2007 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  20. George, Chicagi, IL

    What a double-talking charlatan! The fact that Mitt Romney is even a major contender for the GOP nomination is prrof of just how out-of-touch and vile the Republican Party really is!

    October 8, 2007 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  21. Erik, PA

    I have say that I agree with Romney on this one. As a doctor who works with concer patients I understand what they have to go through and yes, marijuana can help. There are synthetics out there that work better in my experience. The young man states that they make him sick, but in all my years I have never had a patient get "sick" from it. And to all those who say that marijuana does kill, well that's a lie. Last night 3 teenagers where killed in an automobile accident because they were riding high.

    October 8, 2007 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  22. Jerry, LA, CA

    Another great "macaca" moment. Goodbye Mitt.

    October 8, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  23. EAN, Maceio, Brasil

    Anyone who calls the Mormon religion a cult clearly has never read the Bible or doesn't understand what it says.

    October 8, 2007 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  24. Some Guy, Orem, UT

    Maybe this is why we need to elect a medical doctor for President. Who would that be? None other than Ron Paul

    October 8, 2007 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  25. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    People, before you crucify the guy, just do some google search on marijuana side effects and adverse effects. Some of the common side effects include:

    * Trouble remembering things
    * Sleepiness
    * Anxiety
    * Paranoia (feeling that people are “out to get you”)
    * Altered time perception

    Using marijuana for a long time makes some people lose interest in school, work, relationships and other activities. It may also cause legal problems. Using marijuana can be especially dangerous in certain situations, such as when you are driving.

    Marijuana causes physical side effects as well, some of which are: Dry mouth, Nausea, Headache, Tremor,
    Decreased coordination, Increased heart rate, Altered pulmonary status
    Altered body temperature, Reduced muscle strength, Decreased cerebral blood flow, Increased food consumption.

    To me, it is no-brainer that marijuana causes more damage than good.

    Second. I just made a compelling observation. Can we agree that Romney's head-on confrontation by Clayton Holton and Hillary's engagement in a verbal tussle with a questioner over Iran are similar situation? Well, I hope so. But for some odd and peculiar reason these same individuals that want to chew up Romney to pieces over his incident, defend Hillary with all their might (and she was very rude and obnoxious). Why? Don't you have any dignity and your own convictions?

    Last. Come general elections, marijuana is going to be a non-issue to most voters, while Iran will be a very serious issue to all.

    October 9, 2007 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
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